1. Chicago Cubs
The last post-season trip for the Cubs ended with what some Cubs may describe as the unforgivable, unforgettable Chicago curse that continued with their own version of a sports curse with the chapter of fan interference in the playoffs.
Cubs fans can now rest easy and forget that moment in their sports history. It’s time to look forward to enjoying a winning team again.
Let’s fast forward several years of lackluster finishes to the 2015 season. Ace starting pitcher Jon Lester, the former pride and joy and the Boston red Sox and Oakland Athletics has a new home park in Wrigley Field.
Lester could be a huge difference maker for Chicago as he can be a 20 game winner
Cubs 2014 regular season record 73-89
Prediction for Cubs final record 82-80
2. San Diego Padres
The Padres spent lots of money in an effort to emanate and challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers. They will be a serious contender and could dethrone the Dodgers and Giants. They could even advance to the playoffs beating out Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington.
Outfielder Matt Kemp was the Padres most important acquisition of the offseason. He hit 182 home runs and 648 runs batted in. Kemp hit 25 home runs and 89 runs batted in for the 2014 season.
Adding Justin Upton to the mix will be huge lift to the Padres tame morale. Upton joins Kemp in one of the best home run duos in the entire league as he hit 29 home runs and 102 runs batted in.
Signing former Tampa Bay and Kansas City ace starting Pitcher James Shields bolsters the rotation. Shields was 14-8 last season with a 3.21 ERA. His career ERA is 3.72.
Padres 2014 regular season record 77-85
Prediction for Padres final record 89-73
3. Seattle Mariners
Seattle turned the corner last year after signing one of the most sought after free agents in 2014, former Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. The Mariners narrowly missed the playoffs last season. Expect their team chemistry to be vastly improved this year.
Mariners 2014 regular season record 87-75
Prediction for Mariners final record 89-73
4. Cleveland Indians
The American League Central could have the most closely contested playoff race of all the divisions. Forget the A.L. East battle between the Blue Jays and Orioles . The A.L. West battle among the Angels, Mariners, Ranger and Athletics will be interesting. However, the Tigers may have lost a little bit of power. The Indians made a huge splash that altered the A.L. Central balance of power by trading for former Athletics power hitter Brandon Moss.
There is some speculation the Indians will overtake the Tigers in the Central Division bit the Tigers should be able to hold off Cleveland and Kansas City by winning 93 or 94 games.
2014 Indians regular season record 85-77
Prediction for Indians final record 90-72